Uganda Feed the Future Institutional and Systems Strengthening (ISS) Activity

A woman selects fruit at a market in Uganda

Cardno mitigates governance and market systems constraints to improve how system actors work together to achieve agriculture-led economic growth.

Employing 68% of the population, the Ugandan agriculture sector is a key engine of sustainable and inclusive growth. Although dominated by older-generation smallholder farmers, it is also a potential source of job creation for youth, as 84% of the population live in rural areas. Weak relationships (caused by lack of transparency and trust between market actors, and lack of information) constrain organizations within the agricultural system and limit their capacity and available platforms for engagement.

Using a market-systems approach, Cardno facilitates behavior change through ongoing political economy analysis, communications and capacity training within Ugandan Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to assist public servants in developing an enabling business environment for agriculture. Cardno is also increasing the private sector’s willingness to address sector challenges by engaging Industry Apex Organizations (IAOs) and improving their capacity, accountability, and responsiveness to their members.

The aim is to improve regulatory effectiveness, change public sector attitudes about their relationship to private sector business needs, and enhance public-private relations. To strengthen local ownership and innovation, Cardno’s team leverages improvements in system function by empowering stakeholders to work together to mitigate common market constraints. Finally, Cardno focuses on improving the policy framework, budget and institutional processes, and institutional strengthening opportunities to empower women—a key untapped resource in Uganda.

Cardno’s approach promotes sustainability by incorporating key tenets: host country ownership; a focus on evidence-based results with real and measurable impact on development; harnessing the role of the private sector in development; and maximizing transparency and accountability.